Friday, February 29, 2008

Individual Fruit Compote Pies

1 whole egg
1 teaspoon water
1 (14 ounce) package puff pastry dough, thawed but still cold
1/2 cup fruit compote
All-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Set aside.
Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll to 1/8-inch thick. Cut 12 (3 3/4- inch) circles from the puff pastry. If the dough begins to stick, lightly dust with flour.
Place 2 teaspoons of the fruit compote onto the middle of each circle. Lightly brush the edges with the egg wash and fold the pastry over so that the edges meet. Using a fork, press the edges together to seal. Brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash and poke several holes in the top of the pies for steam to escape.
Place the pies 1-inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until golden brown, approximately 25 minutes.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Peach Pie

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream

About 6 medium peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup peach preserves or jelly
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate Mint, forgarnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the crust:
Place the flour, butter, and sour cream in a food processor and pulse to combine. When the dough has formed a ball, pat with lightly floured hands into the bottom and sides of an ungreased 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and 1/2-inch sides, or a round au gratin dish. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Let cool while preparing the filling.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
To make the filling:
If using fresh peaches, peel and thickly slice the peaches. Arrange the fresh peach slices in overlapping circles on top of the crust, until it's completely covered. Overfill the crust, as peaches will shrink during cooking.
Combine the egg yolks, sour cream, sugar, and flour and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture over the peaches. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until the custard sets and is pale golden in color. Cover with an aluminum foil tent if the crust gets too dark. Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack to cool. When cool, remove the side wall of the pan.
To make the glaze:
Combine the preserves or jelly and orange juice. Spread with a pastry brush over the top of the warm tart. Serve the tart warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Garnish with fresh mint.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Upside-Down Apple Skillet Pie

1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
2 cups pre-sliced apples
1 refrigerated pie crust
2 tablespoons apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, apple pie filling and sliced apples in a large bowl. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet or oven-proof pan over medium-high heat, and add the pie filling. Once mixture begins to bubble, unroll pie crust over skillet. With a wooden spoon, push down edges of crust into pie. Cut steam slit in crust and brush with apple juice concentrate and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 1 hour before slicing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Apple & Peach Pies

Ingredients: (serves 4)
14 oz can Baker's Choice apple pie fill
14.5 oz can peach slices in syrup, drained
2 1/2 tbs caster sugar
Olive oil spray
1 sheet (10 x 10 inch) frozen ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, just thawed
1 egg, lightly whisked
Double cream, to serve

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine the apple, peach and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Spray four 3/4-cup capacity ramekins or ovenproof dishes with olive oil spray to lightly grease.
Divide the apple mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins.
Use a 4 inch-diameter round pastry cutter to cut 4 discs from the pastry. Place a pastry disc on top of each ramekin and gently press the edges to seal. Use a fork to prick the pastry of each pie. Brush the pies with egg and sprinkle over the remaining sugar.
Place the pies on a baking tray and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve the pies immediately with cream.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Five-Spice Nashi Pie with Ginger & Honey Cream

Ingredients: (serves 8)
2 sheets (10x 10 inch) ready-rolled frozen puff pastry, just thawed
2 tbs orange marmalade
2 Asian pear, thinly sliced
3/4 cup butter, melted
Pinch of Chinese five spice
Icing sugar, to dust

Ginger & honey cream:
3/4 cup double cream
3.5 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tbs honey
1 tbs pickled ginger in brine, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place each pastry sheet on a baking tray. Fold edges of pastry inwards to create a 1/4 inch-wide border. Brush pastry with marmalade.
Keeping within the borders, arrange the nashi slices evenly over bases of pastry sheets. Brush lightly with melted butter and sprinkle evenly with five spice. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, swapping trays halfway through cooking, or until golden and puffed. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, to make the ginger & honey cream, place the cream, cream cheese, honey and ginger in a serving bowl and stir until well combined.
Dust the nashi tarts with icing sugar. Arrange on a large serving platter and serve immediately with the ginger & honey cream.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Caramelised Grapefruit Pie

Ingredients: (serves 10)
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/3 cup icing sugar mixture
5 oz chilled butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
2 tbs brown sugar
1 grapefruit, unpeeled, thinly sliced
Double cream, to serve

Grapefruit filling:
2 tbs finely grated grapefruit rind
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cup thickened cream
5 eggs, lightly whisked

To make the filling, combine grapefruit rind and juice, sugar, cream and egg in a bowl. Cover and place in fridge for 2 hours to develop the flavours.
Meanwhile, to make the pastry, place the flour, almond meal, icing sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and process until dough just starts to come together.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 1/8 inch-thick disc. Line a round 10 inch (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with removable base, with pastry and trim any excess. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover pastry base with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or rice. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and pastry weights or rice. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325 F.
Strain grapefruit mixture through a fine sieve into a jug. Pour into the pastry case. Bake for 30 minutes or until just set. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
Preheat grill on high. Sprinkle tart with half the brown sugar. Place on a baking tray. Cook under grill for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar bubbles and caramelises.
Place the grapefruit on a baking tray and sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar. Cook under grill for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar bubbles and caramelises.
Arrange the grapefruit on the tart. Cut into wedges and serve with cream.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Free-Form Apple Pie

Ingredients: (serves 6)
Gluten-free plain flour, for dusting
1 egg, separated
1/4 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
1 pound Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon demerara sugar

1/3 cup pure icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups gluten-free plain flour
1/2 cup butter, cubed, chilled
2 to 3 tablespoons chilled water

Make pastry Place icing sugar, flour and butter into a food processor. Process until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Process until pastry just starts to come together, adding more water if necessary.
Turn pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten into a disc. Wrap in baking paper. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Dust a large sheet of baking paper with flour. Place pastry onto baking paper. Roll out to a 12 inch circle. Transfer pastry (still on baking paper) to a large baking tray. Whisk egg yolk. Brush pastry with egg yolk, leaving a 1 inch border around edges. Sprinkle almonds over egg yolk. Arrange apple slices over pastry (leaving border free). Sprinkle with caster sugar.
Fold pastry border in over apples. Lightly whisk eggwhite. Brush pastry edges with eggwhite. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until pastry is golden. Serve.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Date & Orange Pie

: (serves 6)
9 oz plain flour
4 oz pure icing sugar
4 oz unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg
16 fresh dates, pitted, halved
5 egg yolks
3.5 oz caster sugar
2 cups cream
1 orange, zested

Cardamom syrup:
10 green cardamom pods
1 orange, zested
6 oranges, juiced
1 cup caster sugar
2-3 tbs brandy

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place flour and icing sugar in a food processor and process to combine. Add butter and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and process until a smooth ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out pastry on a floured surface and use to line a 10 inch pie pan with removable base. Line pastry with baking paper and fill with rice or pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights and return to oven for 10 minutes until crisp and golden. Place halved dates in pastry case.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 F. Beat egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl until combined. Stir in cream, then strain. Stir in zest and pour over dates. Bake for 30 minutes or until just set. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, to make the syrup, use a mortar and pestle or rolling pin to lightly crush cardamom pods. Remove seeds and discard pod. Place seeds in a pan with remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring, to dissolve sugar. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool before serving with the tart.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tarte Tatin

Ingredients (serves 6)
6 golden delicious or royal gala apples
2 tbs lemon juice
7 oz vanilla sugar
1 oz unsalted butter, cubed
9 oz puff pastry
Thick cream or ice-cream, to serve

Peel and core the apples and cut into quarters. Place in a large bowl and toss in the lemon juice and 3.5 oz vanilla sugar.
Place remaining sugar and 2 tablespoons water in an oven-proof frying pan or 10 inch tarte Tatin pan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes until the sugar caramelises and is a light-golden brown. Add the apple, cut-side up and dot with the butter. Keeping the heat very low, cook for a further 5-6 minutes to partially cook the apple. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Roll out pastry and cut into a circle slightly larger than the pan. Place the pastry over the apple, tucking any excess underneath. Place the pan on a baking tray to catch any juices that may bubble over and bake in the oven for 35 minutes until the pastry is cooked and golden. Remove from oven and allow to rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the tart upside down onto a large plate. Serve with cream or ice-cream.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chocolate Caramel Pie

Ingredients: (serves 12)
1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped
3 eggs
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 oz butter, melted
7 oz good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup thickened cream

Chocolate pastry:
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, chilled, chopped
1 egg, beaten

Make chocolate pastry: Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder and butter in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add egg. Process until pastry comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. Press out into a 6 inch disc. Wrap in greaseproof paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll out.
Roll out pastry between 2 lightly-floured sheets baking paper until 1/4 inch-thick. Line a 1 inch deep, 9 inch (base) loose-based tart pan. Trim pastry, leaving an 1/4 inch excess. Prick pastry base 8 times with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven and a large flat baking tray to 350 F. Line pastry case with baking paper. Half-fill with uncooked rice or ceramic pie weights. Place on hot tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until firm to touch. Remove paper and beans. Bake for a further 5 minutes or until light golden. Remove from oven.
Spread pecan nuts over hot pastry base. Whisk eggs, maple syrup, sugar and butter together. Pour over pecan nuts. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until just set in the centre. Set aside to cool completely.
Combine chocolate and cream in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Spread chocolate over pie. Set aside for 3 hours to set. Serve.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Chocolate Pies

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 sheet frozen ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, partially thawed, cut into
4 even squares
7 oz milk chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pouring cream
1/4 cup crumbled almond macaroonspure icing sugar, to serve

Place a baking tray in oven. Preheat oven and tray to 400 F. Grease four 1 inch deep, 2.5 inch (base) fluted flan pans.Line base and sides of each flan pan with 1 square of pastry. Trim excess pastry.
Place flans onto hot baking tray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden.Meanwhile, place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring with a metal spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes or until melted and smooth.Remove tart cases from flan pans and allow to cool on a wire rack. Spoon chocolate mixture into each tart case. Sprinkle with macaroons. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Apricot Custard Pies

Ingredients (serves 4)
16 oz can apricot halves in natural juice, drained
1 sheet reduced-fat puff pastry, partially thawed
1/3 cup low-fat custard
1 eggwhite, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon raw sugar

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Pat apricot halves dry with paper towels. Cut each apricot piece in half.
Cut 4 x 5 inch circles from pastry. Place onto prepared tray. Working with 1 pastry circle at a time, fold edge in and pinch to form a small case. Spoon 1 tablespoonful of custard into centre of each pastry case. Arrange apricot pieces over custard.
Brush pastry with eggwhite. Sprinkle sugar over tarts. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pear and Strawberry Crumble Pie

Ingredients (serves 6)
8 inch frozen sweet pie crust
15 oz pears in natural juice, drained, sliced
9 zo punnet strawberries, hulled, sliced
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
3.5 oz butter, chilled, cubed
1/4 cup flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place frozen tart case onto a baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes, or until light golden.
Combine pears, strawberries and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a bowl. Stir gently to combine.
Combine remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, flour and butter in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in almonds.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of crumble mixture over base of tart case. Spoon pear and strawberry mixture over top. Sprinkle with remaining crumble mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crumble is golden. Serve warm or cold with cream or ice-cream, if you like.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pecan Meringue Pie

Ingredients (serves 4)
22 grahm crackers
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
3 eggwhites
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/4 cup thickened cream, whipped, to serve
extra pecans, to serve

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9 inch flan dish.
Place cookie into a food processor. Process to rough crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. Stir through pecans.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites with a pinch of salt to soft peaks. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until a thick, glossy meringue forms. Fold in vanilla and cookie and pecan mixture.
Spoon mixture into pie plate. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp. Set aside to cool completely. Top with cream and extra pecans.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Impossible" coconut pie

4 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
3.5 oz unsalted butter, softened
3.5 oz slivered almonds
1 cup desiccated coconut
2 tbs grated lemon rind
2 tbs grated orange rind
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
Lightly whipped cream and fresh passionfruit pulp, to serve

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place the eggs, sugar, butter, almonds, coconut, lemon and orange rind and juice, coconut milk and flour in a food processor and blend until well combined. Pour into a buttered 11 inch pie plate. Bake for 1 hour until lightly browned. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate for 1 hour to chill.
Slice and serve with a little whipped cream and passionfruit.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Coconut-Cream Pies with Tropical Fruits

8.5 oz gingernut biscuits
7 oz unsalted butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
9 oz white chocolate, chopped
Tropical fruits (such as mango, melon and banana), thinly sliced, to serve
Shaved dried coconut*, to serve

Grease eight 4 inch loose-bottomed tart pans. Whiz biscuits in a food processor until fine crumbs. Melt 3.5 oz of the butter, then add to the crumbs and process to combine. Press into the base and sides of the tart pans.
For the filling, place the remaining 3.5 oz butter and coconut milk in a pan, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Pour into tart shells and chill for 2 hours or until set. Serve topped with tropical fruit and shaved coconut.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Banana & Strawberry Pie

3/4 cup strawberry jam
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 bananas, thickly sliced
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 egg, whisked
Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 450 F. Heat jam and juice in a 8 inch ovenproof frying pan. Bring to the boil, whisking to combine. Add banana in a single layer, covering base of pan. Simmer for 5 mins, remove from heat and cool for 20 mins.
Thaw pastry. Cut a 10 inch circle and lay over banana. Brush with egg. Bake on top shelf for 12-15 mins. Turn out onto a plate, cut into wedges and serve with ice cream.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tropical Coconut Pies

9 oz coconut biscuits
5 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pints guava with passionfruit, mango and cream
1/2 cup fresh passionfruit pulp

Place biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add butter and process until combined.
Divide the mixture among six small fluted tart tins with removable bases. Press the biscuit mixture evenly over the bases and sides of the pans. Place in the fridge for 4 hours to chill.
Remove the tarts from the pans and divide among serving plates. Spoon the ice-cream among the tart cases and drizzle over the passionfruit pulp. Serve immediately

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Individual Blueberry Pies

1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tbs icing sugar
4.5 oz butter, chilled, cubed
10.5 oz punnets blueberries
1 lemon, rind finely grated
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup almond meal
1 tbs cornflour
1 egg, beaten
1 tbs demerara sugar
Ice cream, to serve

Process the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add 2-3 tbs of iced water and process until the mixture comes together. Cover and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425° F. Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Toss the blueberries, lemon rind and juice in a bowl. Divide the pastry into four equal portions.
Roll a portion out to a 6 inch circle. Transfer to a baking tray. Sprinkle a tablespoon of the almond meal over the centre of the circle, leaving an 3 inch boarder. Sprinkle 1 tsp of the cornflour over the almond meal. Pile a quarter of the blueberry mixture on top of the cornflour. Fold up the edges of the pastry to partially enclose the blueberries. Repeat with remaining pastry, almond meal, cornflour and blueberries.
Brush with the egg and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Shaker Lemon Pie

2 lemons, rind grated
4 lemons, peeled, white pith removed, very thinly sliced
2 oz plain flour, sifted
2 1/3 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1.5 oz unsalted butter, melted
2 tbs cream
Thick cream, to serve

3 cups plain flour, sifted
2 tbs icing sugar
6.5 oz unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
1 egg, beaten

To make the pastry, place the flour and icing sugar in a food processor and process to combine. Add the butter and process until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons cold water and process until a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place the lemon rind and slices, flour, sugar, eggs, butter and cream in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside in fridge until needed.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease a 8 inch pie dish.
Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use to line the dish. Stir the filling (the sugar will have sunk to the bottom), and pour into the dish.
Roll out remaining pastry and brush the edges of pastry in the dish with water. Place the pastry lid on top and press the edges together. Trim excess pastry and reserve. Use a fork to crimp the edges, then cut out shapes with the reserved pastry and add to the top. Make two small slits in the pastry lid to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg and bake for 20 minutes. Cover with foil, then bake for a further 30 minutes. Set aside to cool. Serve with cream.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Toffee Cherry Custard Pie

2 sheets frozen ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, partially thawed
16 oz cherries, pitted
1 cup white sugar

3 egg yolks
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups milk

To make custard, place egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk until well combined. Stir in flours. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Transfer mixture to a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 10 to 12 minutes or until custard comes to the boil. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Cover surface with baking paper. Refrigerate until cold.
Preheat oven and flat baking tray to 400 F . Use pastry to line base and sides of a 2 inch-deep, 9 inch (base) loose-based tart pan, allowing a 1cm overhang. Using kitchen scissors, trim excess pastry so pastry sits 0.5cm above edge of pan. Freeze for 20 minutes or until firm.
Place tart pan on hot tray and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 350° F. Bake pastry for 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.
Spoon custard over tart base. Smooth surface. Top with cherries. Place sugar in a small, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook, tilting pan back and forth and stirring if necessary, for 4 to 5 minutes or until sugar melts and turns deep golden. Drizzle toffee over cherries. Stand for 5 minutes to set. Serve.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Easy Marmalade Pie

2 oz unsalted butter
1 oz caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4.5 oz flaked almonds
2 tbs milk
1 cup good-quality marmalade

Pastry base
5 oz unsalted butter
8 oz plain flour
4 tbs cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 oz caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

To make the pastry base, place the butter, flour, cornflour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor and process to combine until the mixture is crumbly. Press the dough into a 10 inch greased and lined tart pan with a removable base. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Meanwhile, place the butter, sugar, vanilla, almonds and milk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring, until butter has melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
Spread the marmalade over the pastry base, pour over the topping and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked through. Serve warm.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Apple Custard Pie

3/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 apples, cut into thin wedges

3 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 3/4 cups milk

Make custard: Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add flours. Mix well. Slowly stir in milk. Pour into a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 8 minutes, or until custard comes to the boil. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 8 inch loose-based flan pan.
Combine almonds, coconut, 1/2 cup of sugar, flour and egg. Mix well. Using wet fingertips, press into base and sides of pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until light golden. While still warm, loosen pie case from pan. Set aside in pan to cool.
Preheat grill on medium-high heat. Combine apples and remaining sugar in a bowl. Toss to coat. Spread over a lined baking tray in a single layer. Grill for 5 minutes, or until just tender. Cool.
Spoon chilled custard into tart case. Top with apples. Serve.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Basic Pie Shell

2 cups plain flour
4.5 oz unsalted butter, chilled, cubed

Place the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add a tablespoon of water at a time (the amount you use will depend on your flour, usually 3-4 tablespoons should suffice) and process until the mixture comes together to form a smooth ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out. (The gluten in flour needs to rest or the pastry will shrink when cooked.)
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough rotating at a 90° angle every few rolls until the dough is about 3/4 inch thick.
Next, lightly grease a 9 inch loose-bottomed, fluted tart pan. Gently fold 3 sides of the dough into the centre and place the dough over the tart pan, making sure the edges are in the middle of the pan. Unfold, letting the excess pastry drop over the sides and press the dough into the corners of the pan. Lift the overhanging pastry and press into the side edges of the pan. When all the pastry is pressed into the sides and base, run your rolling pin over the top edge of the tart pan. (The pan's sharp edge will trim off any excess pastry; keep the excess pastry to patch any holes after baking.) Refrigerate for a further 10 minutes (again to pastry shrinkage).
Preheat the oven to 400 F . Cut a sheet of baking paper just bigger than the tart shell.
Place in the pie shell, then fill with rice or pastry weights and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and weights and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to crisp and dry out.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Caramel Walnut Pie

1 1/2 cups White Wings Plain Flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar
4.5 oz butter, chilled, cubed
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons cold water
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/3 cup thickened cream
2 oz butter, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3. 5 oz dark chocolate, melted
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Make pastry: Place all pastry ingredients into a food processor. Process until mixture just comes together.
Turn onto a floured surface. Knead gently until smooth. Press into a 4 inch round. Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper to a 12 inch round. Use to line base and sides of a 1/2 inch deep, 10 inch fluted loose-based flan pan. Freeze for 20 minutes or until firm.
Make filling: Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring with a metal spoon, for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, brushing away any sugar crystals that form (see note), or until golden. Remove from heat.
Add cream (toffee will seize). Return to heat. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until toffee has dissolved. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool.
Place a baking tray into oven. Preheat oven and tray to 400 F. Line flan with baking paper. Half-fill with raw rice.
Place flan onto hot tray. Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden around edges. Remove paper and rice. Bake for a further 12 minutes or until light golden. Remove from oven. Reduce oven to 350 F.
Spread chocolate over hot pastry base. Sprinkle with walnuts. Stir eggs into caramel. Pour caramel over walnuts. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbling and set in the centre. Cool completely. Serve.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pear Pies

10.5 oz caster sugar
8 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 lemons, zested
2 tbs lemon juice
6 pears, peeled, cored (leave stalk intact)
4 tbs almond meal
2 tsp almond essence
2 tbs brandy
1 tbs softened butter
9 oz puff pastry
1 beaten egg, to brush

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place the sugar, cloves, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice in a large saucepan with 3 cups water and stir to combine. Add pears and poach over low heat for 6 minutes. Remove pears and pat dry with paper towel. Reduce the syrup over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Set aside.
Combine the almond meal and essence, brandy and butter and use to fill each pear from the base.
Roll out the puff pastry and use to wrap around the pears. Decorate with pastry leaves. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve pear pies with the syrup.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Coffee Cream Pie

3 oz butter, melted, cooled
22 shredded wheat biscuits, crushed
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup Tia Maria liqueur
2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon gelatine
4.5 oz cream cheese, softened
double cream and coffee beans, to serve

Grease and line base and sides of a 8 inch (base) springform cake pan. Combine butter and biscuits in a bowl. Press into base of pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
Combine egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, Tia Maria, coffee and milk in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water, taking care base of bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until coffee mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Combine gelatine and 2 tablespoons water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH (100%) for 30 to 45 seconds or until dissolved. Stir with a fork until mixture is clear. Pour warm gelatine mixture into warm coffee mixture, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk until combined. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. In a thin, steady stream, add coffee mixture to cream cheese, beating constantly on low until combined. Wash and dry beaters.
Beat eggwhites until stiff peaks form. Add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition until meringue is thick and glossy.
Stir 1/3 meringue into coffee mixture. Gently fold in remaining meringue. Pour coffee mixture over chilled base. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. Cut pie into wedges. Top with cream and coffee beans. Serve.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Caramel Meringue Pies

3 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, partially thawed
4 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup cornflour
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups milk
3 eggwhites
pinch cream of tartar
2/3 cup caster sugar
Place a baking tray into oven. Preheat oven and tray to 400 F. Cut 2 x 6 inch (diameter) rounds from pastry. Use to line base and sides of 2 x 3 inch (base), 5 inch (top) pie pans. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Place pies onto hot tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Set aside to cool completely.
Whisk yolks, brown sugar and vanilla together in a bowl. Stir in flours. Add 1/2 cup milk. Stir until smooth. Add remaining milk. Pour into a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 15 minutes or until custard comes to the boil. Transfer to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat eggwhites and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Add caster sugar, 1 tablespoonful at a time, beating until thick and glossy. Spoon custard into pie cases. Top with meringue. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until meringue is firm. Cool completely in pans. Serve.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Banoffee Pies

9 oz pkt granita biscuits
4.5 oz butter, melted
2 bananas
1 pint double cream

Caramel filling
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup, firmly packed brown sugar
1 3/4 oz butter

Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined. Divide the biscuit mixture among six round 3 1/4 inch (base measurement) fluted tart tins with removable bases. Use the back of a metal spoon to firmly press the biscuit mixture over the base and side of each tin. Place in the fridge until required.
To make caramel filling, place condensed milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 10-12 minutes or until caramel thickens (do not boil).
Pour the hot caramel evenly among biscuit bases. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
Peel and thinly slice bananas, and arrange over the caramel filling. Top pies with a dollop of cream and serve immediately.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Key Lime Pie

7 oz wheatmeal or Granita biscuits
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 tbs caster sugar
3.5 oz butter, melted
4 eggs, lightly beaten
14 oz can condensed milk
2/3 cup cream
Finely grated rind and juice of 4 limes
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line base of a 20cm springform tin with baking paper.
Process biscuits until fine crumbs. Add almonds, sugar and butter, process until combined. Press mixture firmly into the base and 3cm up sides of tin. Refrigerate.
Whisk eggs, milk, cream, lime rind and juice until smooth. Pour into biscuit crust.
Place on tray and bake for 40-45 mins or until set. Cool. Serve with extra lime slices.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Apple Ribbon Pie

2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup ice water (strain out the ice just before using)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Equipment: 10-inch aluminum pie pan; Japanese-style turning vegetable slicer
Make the Crust: In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), mix the flour, salt, and sugar for 1 minute. Add the butter and mix just until you have a crumbly, sandy mixture. (You should still be able to see the pieces of butter.)
In a small bowl, stir the water and vinegar together.
With the mixer running at medium speed, drizzle in the water-vinegar mixture and mix just until a dough forms. (You should still see small bits of butter.) Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into a round, flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using. (Or, refrigerate up to 48 hours or freeze up to 1 month before using. If frozen, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out.)
When the time comes to roll out the dough, let the dough warm up for a few minutes at room temperature to make it more workable. Dust a work surface with just a few tablespoons of flour and keep some extra flour at hand. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and start rolling outward from the center with quick, light strokes. Don't worry if the edges split a bit; concentrate on forming a good circle from the center. Lift up and rotate the dough 1/4 turn every minute or so to help ensure even rolling. The dough should feel smooth and soft; some say it should feel like the inside of your forearm. If it gets sticky, sprinkle on a bit more flour, but don't do this more than 2 or 3 times; the dough will absorb too much flour. Instead, put it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the butter. Keep rolling until the circle is at least 2 inches larger than your pan (for example, 12 inches wide for a 10-inch pie pan), or 3 inches larger for deep-dish pies.
Set your pie pan nearby. We always use heavy aluminum pans, because glass pans seem to bake the crust too fast. However, we know that the advantage of glass is that you can easily check the color of the crust. To transfer the crust to the pan, I find it easiest to roll a finished crust up onto the rolling pin, then gently unroll it in the pan. Or, you can fold it gently in quarters, lift it up, position the center point on the center of the pan, and unfold it into the pan. Make sure that the dough is allowed to settle completely into the pan.
Don't stretch and press the dough into the corners; stretched dough will likely shrink back when you bake it. Instead, lift the edges of the crust to let it settle down into the corners. If the dough tears a bit, don't be concerned; we'll patch it in a minute. Using scissors or a sharp knife, trim the dough to within 3/4-inch of the rim. Use any extra scraps to patch the crust, pressing with your fingers (wet them if necessary) or set aside. To decorate the rim, fold under the excess dough then just press it all around with the back of a fork. For a slightly more advanced look, press the thumb and forefinger of one hand together. Use them to gently push the thick dough rim outward, while pushing inward with the forefinger of the other hand, so that they intersect in a "V" with the dough in between. Repeat all around the rim to make a wavy edge. Chill it while you prep the filling.
Make the Filling: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, toss the sugar, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Sprinkle half the sugar mixture on the bottom of the pie shell.
Using a Japanese-style turning vegetable slicer, cut the apples into 1-inch wide, long strips. Make apple strips into S-curves (like ribbon candy) and tuck them into the crust next to each other tightly to fill the pie shell. Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the ribbons and dot with the butter.
Place the pie on a sheet pan to catch any juices that boil over. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees F. and bake until the crust is golden brown about 40 to 50 minutes more. Check the pie after 30 minutes; if the crust's edge is browning too quickly, cover it lightly with a strip of foil. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Shoofly pie (or shoo-fly pie) is a molasses pie considered traditional among the Pennsylvania Dutch and also known in Southern cooking.
The more common version of the recipe — sometimes referred to as "wet bottom" — consists of a layer of sweet, gooey molasses beneath a crumb topping sometimes compared to that of a coffee cake. In contrast, a "dry bottom" shoofly pie is more thoroughly mixed into a cake-like consistency.
The dessert has earned quite a reputation in the "Dutch Country" of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where its distinctive flavor and texture is quite alluring to tourists.
The term "shoo-fly pie" first appeared in print in 1926. The name is commonly thought to arise from the fact that the molasses in the pie is so attractive to flies that they have to be constantly "shooed" away.
A Montgomery pie is similar to a shoofly pie though lemon juice is usually added to the bottom layer and buttermilk to the topping. A chess pie is also similar, though unlayered and made with corn syrup.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fresh Fruit or Canned Filling?

Fruit pie fillings are made from cooked or uncooked fresh or dried fruit. The fruit is assembled in an unbaked bottom crust, with or without a top crust made from a pastry dough or crumb mixture. Crust(s) and fillings bake together.
Thickeners are used in juicy fruit pies so the liquid that come from fruit when baked gels. Without them you will have baked fruit in a puddle of juice. Better to have the juices remain around the fruit to make use of all the fruit's flavor.
Typical thickeners for fruit pies include the obvious thickeners (flour, cornstarch, tapioca, arrowroot) and the not-so-obvious (ClearJel and potato starch) and several combinations (flour-cornstarch, tapioca-cornstarch). All are available in the supermarket, except for the combination thickener which you mix yourself with equal parts. The amount needed varies with the kind of fruit and the quantity of sugar used. However, I must warn you that everyone has their favorite thickener and will swear by it as the very best! But, certain thickeners are best used with certain types of fruit.
In general, fruit fillings thickened with arrowroot and tapioca, were clear and bright in appearance, and the flavor of the fruit came through clearly. Of the two, tapioca showed a bit more thickening power and was therefore my favorite. When making a lattice-top pie, the tapioca on top of the fruit baked into hard bits, so first grind it into a fine powder and use ClearJel® or Potato Starch can be used as a good thickener.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Apple pie in American culture

In the English colonies the apple pie had to wait for carefully planted pips, brought in barrels across the Atlantic, to become fruit-bearing apple trees, to be selected for their cooking qualities, as apples do not come true from seeds. In the meantime, the colonists were more likely to make their pies, or "pasties", of meat rather than of fruit; and the main use for apples, once they were available, was in cider. But there are American apple-pie recipes, both manuscript and printed, from the eighteenth century, and it has since become a very popular dessert.
A mock apple pie made from crackers was apparently invented by pioneers on the move during the nineteenth century who were bereft of apples. In the 1930s, and for many years afterwards, Ritz Crackers promoted a recipe for mock apple pie using its product, along with sugar and various spices.
Although apple pies have been eaten since long before the discovery of America, "as American as apple pie" is a common saying in the United States, meaning "typically American". The dish was also commemorated in the phrase "for mom and apple pie" - supposedly the stock answer of American soldiers in WWII, whenever journalists asked why they were going to war.
Advertisers exploited the patriotic connection in the 1970s with the TV jingle "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet". There are claims that the Apple Marketing Board of New York State used such slogans as "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" and "as American as apple pie!", and thus "was able to successfully 'rehabilitate' the apple as a popular comestible" in the early twentieth century when prohibition outlawed the production of cider.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Apple is Upper Crust of Pies

The Salt Lake Tribune

In honor of National Pie Day on Jan. 23, here are 10 pie facts you might want to know:
* One out of four Americans prefers apple pie, followed by pumpkin or sweet potato (17 percent), anything chocolate (14 percent), lemon meringue (11 percent) and cherry (10 percent).
* Three out of four Americans prefer homemade pie.
* If you lined up the number of pies sold at U.S. grocery stores in one year, they would more than circle the globe.
* The wet bottom molasses pie, called shoo-fly pie, was used to attract flies from the kitchen.
* The wealthy English were known for their "Surprise Pies" from which live creatures would pop out when the pie was cut open.
* Pumpkin pie was first introduced to the holiday table at the Pilgrims' second Thanksgiving, in 1623.
* Pie was not always America's favorite dessert - in the 19th century, fruit pies were a common breakfast food eaten before the start of a long day.
- Kathy Stephenson
The Salt Lake Tribune

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Southern Pecan Pie

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (softened)
1 cup corn syrup (Karo brand is common in the south)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla flavoring or extract
3 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cups pecans
1 9-inch pie shell (deep dish is a good idea)
Cream the sugar and butter well in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Add syrup, salt, and vanilla. Mix again.
Add eggs one at a time and mix after each.
Stir in pecans (or you can place them on top if you want).
Pour mixture into pie crust. Do not bake the pie crust first for this one.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 45 minutes.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie

1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups water
3 eggs, separated
zest from 1 medium lemon
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from 1-1/2 medium lemons)
1 tablespoon butter
1 baked, cooled 9-inch pie shell Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine the sugar, flour, salt and water in a heavy saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Boil, stirring constantly and vigorously, for 1 minute. (A long-handled spoon to stir with really helps here to get you back from the heat.) Remove from heat. Slightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl with a fork. Mix about one-third of the boiled mixture with the egg yolks; then pour the egg yolk mixture back into the pan with the boiled ingredients, and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly and, again, vigorously. Remove from heat, and add the butter. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to mix thoroughly. Pour into cooled, baked 9-inch pie crust and top with meringue (recipes follow), sealing meringue to edge of pastry. Bake in a 350 F oven 12 to 15 minutes or until nicely browned.
3 egg whites, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Beat the egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add the cream of tartar, then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in the vanilla. Pile atop pie, and bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Be sure to seal the meringue to the pastry edge when spreading it on your pie. To minimize "weeping", spread the meringue on the pie filling while the filling is hot. Also, remember that meringue pies cut better with a wet knife blade.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pie Troubleshooting Guide

The dough cracks when I try to roll it:
The dough is either too dry or too cold. If it seems to be crumbling apart, work a few sprinkles of water into it--a squeeze bottle works well--but try to handle it as little as possible. If it merely cracks at the edges when you run the rolling pin over it, it probably just needs to warm up a little. Allow it to sit on the counter for a few minutes, but don't let it get too warm, or the layers of fat will melt together and your crust will not be flaky.

The dough sticks to the rolling pin:
Chill the dough before trying to roll it out. Lightly flour the countertop and the flattened ball of dough. Keep dusting the pastry lightly on both sides as you roll. You don't want to work in more flour, but you can always brush off excess from the dough. Pastry cloths and rolling pin covers are also available. These are made from thin machine-washable cotton, and they will help prevent sticking dough; be sure to lightly flour the cloth and the cover before using them. You can also roll the dough out between sheets of waxed paper.

The crust doesn't brown on the bottom:
Cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil, and place the pie on the bottom oven rack. Begin baking at a relatively high temperature (425 to 450 degrees F/220 to 230 degrees C), then reduce it after 20 minutes or so. The initial high temperature will help the crust to brown, and reducing the temperature will allow the filling to cook thoroughly before the crust burns. Even better: invest in a baking stone. Bake the pie--on a baking sheet to prevent spills--directly on the hot stone.

I pre-baked my pie crust, and it came out shrunken, puffy, and misshapen:
Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator both before and after rolling it out. Also be sure that you never pull or stretch the dough when fitting it into the pan. Use a fork to poke the crust in several places to allow steam to escape without forcing the crust to puff up. If you're baking a custard pie where the filling is baked in the crust (as opposed to a cream pie, where the filling is cooked on the stovetop then poured into a pre-baked crust) holes in the crust allow the custard to seep through the holes. (You can save extra dough when rolling out the crust and use it to patch cracks and holes.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pie Facts

A survey by the American Pie Council found that apple pie is the favorite flavor among one out of four Americans, followed by pumpkin, chocolate, lemon meringue, and cherry.

The average American eats six slices of pie per year.

An overwhelming 76 percent of Americans prefer homemade pie over pie from a bakery or pastry shop, restaurant, diner, or supermarket.

The term "as American as apple pie" traces back to 14th century England. The Pilgrims brought their pie-making skills, along with the apple seeds to America. As the popularity of apple pie spread throughout the nation, the phrase grew to symbolize American prosperity.

Before pie was America's favorite dessert, fruit pies were commonly eaten as part of breakfast in the 19th century.

Other names for a pie are: pastie, oggie, piraski, piragie, patty, and pierogi. More common names include: streusel, tart, turnover, and crumble

The term "upper crust" refers to early America when the economy was difficult and supplies were hard to come by. Only affluent households could afford ingredients for both the upper and lower crusts of a pie; thus, the term "upper crust" was born.

Shoo-fly pie is a wet-bottom molasses pie that was originally used to sit on windowsills to attract flies away from the kitchen.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Individual Pecan Pies with Sweet Tea Caramel Sauce

For the pie pastry dough:
2 tablespoons finely ground pecans
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
1 egg white, chilled
2 tablespoons ice water, only if needed
For the filling:
1 cup pecan halves
2 eggs
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the sweet tea caramel sauce:
6 earl grey tea bags
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 quart vanilla bean ice cream
For the pie pastry dough: In a food processor combine the ground pecans, flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the egg white and blend it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount of dough together, if it is crumbly, add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tray with nonstick spray. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about a 2 foot square, then use a small bowl 3-inches in diameter or a large 3-inch ring mold as a guide to cut out circles. They should be slightly larger in diameter than the muffin tin hole, so when pressed in, the edges come half-way up the sides of the tin.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs until frothy then blend in sugars. Stir in the melted butter, vanilla, syrup and salt until well blended. Arrange the pecans on the bottoms of the tart shells. Pour in the filling to fill the shells almost to the top. Bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a thin knife in the center of the pie, if it comes out pretty clean, you're good to go. Transfer the pies to a rack and cool.
While the pie is baking, make the Sweet Tea Caramel Sauce. Begin my making the tea. Bring 2 cups of cold water to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the tea bags, cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags (squeeze them out) and then return to a simmer until it has reduced by half - so you have 1 cup of really strong tea remaining. Add the 1/2 cup of sugar to the saucepan and continue to simmer over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pot around, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and looks like syrup, about 10 minutes. Carefully pour in the cream, be careful as it will bubble up, and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Serve with individual pecan pies and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.